Health minister Ivan Uhliarik has put forward a proposal to extend the smoking ban to places where the public gather, such as concerts and shopping centre cafes.
Uhliarik is calling for the Act on Protection of Non-Smokers to be amended to include also public spaces in bars and restaurants. Basically, anywhere that non-smokers frequent alongside smokers. He also wants to make the fines for violating the law stricter, increasing the bottom threshold from the current EUR 300 to over EUR 5,000, with the maximum fine also being increased to EUR 15,000.
At a press briefing on Friday, Uhliarik justified the move by saying it should not just be accepted for people to smoke at concerts, for instance, in the same place where small children might be present. He also pointed to the 7,500 or so deaths from passive smoking in Europe every year, 500 of which are Slovaks.